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Published: May 29, 2009
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG)
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Q & As


1.  Question:
How will CSBG Recovery Act Funds be distributed and when will States receive allocations?

States will receive CSBG Recovery Act Funds as a separate allocation under the same formula used for funds allocated under regular annual appropriations.  The Recovery Act Funds will be provided to States in one lump sum allotment. The 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and Federal and State-recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations that submitted plans for FY 2009 will receive $985 million in Recovery Funds.  The Recovery Act mandates that States pass through no less than 99 percent of their Recovery Act allocations for grants to “eligible entities” under the CSBG Act, commonly referred to as Community Action Agencies (CAAs). States that receive Recovery Act Funds are required to submit a separate plan to the Office of Community Services (OCS) for FY 2009 Plan for Recovery Act (ARRA) Funds by May 20, 2009.  The remaining $15 million of CSBG Recovery Act Funds are reserved for Federal Training, technical assistance, planning, evaluation, investigations, assistance to States in carrying out corrective action, monitoring, reporting and data collection, and development of performance measurement systems.

2.  Question:
How much of their Recovery Act allocations are States required to distribute to eligible entities?

States are required to distribute no less than 99 percent of their Recovery Act allocations for grants to eligible entities.

3. Question:
Do States need to account for Tribal allotments from Recovery Act Funds allocation?

Yes, States must take into account Tribal allotments as a best business practice.

4.  Question:
Are there any Recovery Funds allocated specifically for use at the State level?

Yes, the Recovery Act requires States to reserve one percent of their Recovery Funds allocation for benefits enrollment coordination activities relating to the identification and enrollment of eligible individuals and families in Federal, State, and local benefit programs. 

5.  Question:
What is the methodology used to determine the allocations for Recovery Act Funds?

States will receive Recovery Act Funds under the same formula used for allocating funds under regular CSBG annual appropriations.

6.  Question:
When will the Recovery Act Funds be available for draw down? 

States will be able to draw down their Recovery Act Funds within two to three days after awards are made.

7.  Question:
Will there be changes in the criteria for State use of funds?

States will need to account for restrictions in use of Recovery Act Funds at the State level.  While ordinarily under Section 675C(b)(1) and (2) of the CSBG Act, States are permitted to use remainder funds for administrative expenses and to conduct statewide discretionary activities, the Recovery Act does not provide for such expenses.  Specifically, the Recovery Act directs that 99 percent of the State’s allocation be provided to eligible entities by the State.  The remaining one (1) percent of Recovery Act Funds must be used by States for coordination activities relating to the identification and enrollment of eligible individuals and families in Federal, State, and local benefit programs.

8.  Question:
Are there any Recovery Act Funds allocated specifically for the CSBG State Associations?

No, the Recovery Act does not provide any funds specifically for CSBG State Associations. 

9.  Question:
Will any of the Recovery Act Funds reserved by the Secretary for Training and Technical Assistance be set aside for the State Associations to provide training and technical assistance? 

OCS is in the process of developing a plan to assess the training and technical assistance needs of those grantees that receive Recovery Act Funds.   It is expected that State Associations will be eligible to apply for an OCS discretionary grant activity focused on developing technical assistance capacity and promoting Statewide coordination of Recovery Act efforts.  This announcement will be posted under grant announcement HHS-2009-ACF-OCS-EQ-0037, on the Administration for Children and Families website. 

10.  Question:
How much money is appropriated to the Community Services Block Grant in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act)?

The Recovery Act provides for $1 billion in additional funds (“Recovery Act Funds”) to the CSBG program.

11.  Question:
What is the time frame for availability of funds?

The authorization allows for the obligation of Recovery Act Funds in FYs 2009 and 2010, the fiscal year funds were made available and the subsequent fiscal year.  States have until September 30, 2010 to obligate the additional funds.  Normal liquidation requirements under the program would apply.